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NEC, HP and others to create B2B venture in Japan

The two companies, along with Ariba and Sumitomo, are planning a Web site for business-to-business e-commerce.

A unit of Hewlett-Packard, Sumitomo, NEC and Ariba said today they plan to invest $7.9 million (850 million yen) in a Japanese e-marketplace for office supplies, books and stationery.

Software maker Ariba said the new company, which has yet to be named, is expected to handle about $37 million in e-commerce transactions in its first fiscal year.

NEC and Sumitomo will hold about 80 percent equity in the company they said would begin operations in November, while Ariba and Hewlett-Packard Japan will take a combined stake of about 20 percent.

The partners anticipate revenue of $1.4 million in the first year, an amount that should increase to 14 times as much in fiscal 2002, Ariba said.